Building Lightning Safe Communities Initiative Provides Lightning Protection System for Historic Connecticut Fire Station
HARTFORD, Conn., June 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) and the Lightning Safety Alliance (LSA) are sponsoring a “Building Lightning Safe Communities Campaign” as a continuation of its recent initiative to provide lightning protection resources to the public and the fire safety community. LPI-certified master installer firms are participating in the campaign to provide complimentary lightning protection systems for designated fire stations in several high risk lightning regions of the U.S. including, Wethersfield, Conn.
LPI and LSA organized campaign donations when outreach with the fire safety community revealed that many stations across the country were lacking lightning protection systems to protect their personnel, structures and equipment.
“Lightning can cause failures of internal building systems, damage equipment and ignite structural fires,” said Guy Maxwell, LSA president. “Fortunately, lightning protection systems can provide critical security for service structures like fire stations.”
“There are situations where lightning protection should be given serious consideration,” said Rich Bailey, fire chief for Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Department. “We are pleased that LPI member firms Northeast Lightning Protection and local manufacturer, ECLE have partnered to provide the generous lightning protection system donation for our historic station to safeguard our structure from this destructive hazard,” added Bailey.
According to a recent NFPA analysis, titled “Lightning Fires and Lightning Strikes,” fire departments in the U.S. responded to an estimated 22,600 lightning fires per year from 2007 to 2011. These fires were responsible for civilian and firefighter deaths, injuries and approximately $451 million in preventable property damage. Statistics for lightning fires are typically obtained from the Office of Services and the National Climatic Data Center, the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the NFPA’s annual survey of U.S. fire departments. Since reporting sources are often voluntary, only an estimated number of lightning fires are typically cited.
“As first responders, firefighters play a critical role in lightning safety and the protection education process,” said Jim Barnard, of Northeast Lightning Protection Inc. in Bloomfield, Conn. Barnard is a LPI master installer designer who facilitated the lightning protection system for the Wethersfield fire station. “LPI’s Building Lightning Safe Communities campaign is reminding fire professionals to include information about lightning incidents in their NFIRS and NFPA reports where relevant. Accurate reporting can prevent apathy against a destructive hazard and increase awareness about a preventable fire risk,” explained Barnard.
The NFPA also publishes the NFPA 780 Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems which is a valuable resource for reducing lightning risks.
The Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) is a not-for-profit nationwide group founded in 1955 to promote lightning safety, awareness and education and is a leading resource for lightning protection installation in accordance with national safety standards. The LPI certifies individuals for the installation of lightning protection systems through a Master Installer testing program to qualify competence. LPI supports lightning protection quality control and assurance through third-party inspection. Information about follow-up inspection services can be found at www.lpi-ip.com. For a list of certified contractors visit the LPI website at www.lightning.org.
The Lightning Safety Alliance (LSA) is a non-profit, non-stock national business corporation comprised of lightning protection manufacturers, distributors and installers. Its purpose is to provide a comprehensive and focused evaluation and response to legislative, administration and regulatory issues facing the industry. Additionally, the LSA acts as an informational clearinghouse for its membership and provides educational programming on lightning protection and lightning safety at www.lightningsafetyalliance.org
SOURCE Lightning Safety Alliance